Everyone has a story inside of them. The question is, how do you condense sixty, seventy, eighty, or even ninety plus years into one memoir? How do you sort through the stockpiles of memories and select the ones that will create the most poignant, meaningful biography? And if you don’t consider yourself a creative writer, how do you proceed?
As a professional life story writer for hire and author of dozens of life stories, I have formulated a plan to help guide anyone interested in putting their memories down on paper. Below are six focal points to keep in mind when penning your life story.
1. Your Origins and Family
Fifty years from now when your great-grandchildren read the stories you crafted about your life, they will live in a completely different world than the one you grew up in. So, preserve that world by writing about your early years and family history. Write about where you grew up, how your family came to live there, and what your day to day life was like.
2. Your Family
Write about your husband or wife. Recollect your early dating days, the details of falling in love, and your journey throughout your marriage. If you have children, write about their entrances and upbringings. Write about their accomplishments and the time you now spend together. Consider parents, siblings, grandparents, and extended family members and write about them.
3. Your Career
Write about your first job to your most recent. What after-school jobs did you hold? What jobs got you by during college and shortly thereafter? What work did you most enjoy? What impact did your work make? Elaborate on your working years.
4. Overcoming Obstacles
Make a list of your life’s greatest challenges and hardest days. What great trial led to great triumph? What lessons did you learn? Write about the tough times while looking through a positive, distant lens. You never know who you will inspire in the future.
Don’t forget the fun stuff. Did you take European cruises? Join a square-dancing club? Have you gone sky diving or won the best pie contest three years straight for your cherry pie recipe at the county fair? Do you write poems, paint, or play golf? What kind of outings have you gone on with your grandchildren? What has added joy and delight to your life? Write about the adventures that colored your life.
6. Looking Back
To conclude your life story, consider your life as a whole. What are you proud of? Who did you most love and enjoy? What made your life worth living? What are you most grateful for? What faith carried you through? Consider these questions as you look inwardly and wrap up your life story.
Should you be inspired but unsure if you have the gumption to write your own life story book, contact us today. At Raconteur, we unearth memories via in-person interviews, write on your behalf, and handle the design and publication of your keepsake biography.